I showed up at 9am as it opened and found Roo and Nina still setting up their booth. They had had trouble getting their trailer hooked up to leave to drive up to Lexington and had gotten in late to start setting up. They were currently running on 2 to 3 hours of sleep. This is on top of the furious dyeing they had both been doing because they were delayed by the TORNADO that had hit earlier this month. So I pitched in to help get them set up & get products out and tag them.
I saw the baby sheep, admired the llamas and alpacas and checked out the competition. Later on in the day as I was sitting with Nina she started to have heat stroke. It was in the 90s and they were set up inside a pole barn that had plastic curtains around it to "protect" it from the rain. There was no breeze so she went to sit in the air conditioned car to cool down and I watched her booth for her. So later on that afternoon Roo started getting swamped with people ( she has awesome stuff for sale!) and had no time to sit down & drink anything or even take a breath. So I volunteered to help them out. I ended up staying overnight with them in the hotel ( Roo generously slept on the box springs and I got the mattress) with no change of clothes or other supplies.
Since the day had been so busy we were going to go back after dinner and card up some more batts and put out more product for tomorrow. As we were finishing dinner, it started POURING down rain. We got a frantic call from the organizer that it was raining in the "rain proof" curtains and the products were getting soaked. As any fiber person knows. this is not a good thing. We hurriedly drove to Walgreens and purchased paper towels, a $2.00 t-shirt for me, and a Sham-Wow. Let me tell you that Sham wow is a big WOW, it helped to dry out Nina's yarns a lot. We spread out all the merchandise all over the floor and put a fan on it praying that things would dry out.
When we returned the next morning, we had to completely re-setup the booth. Several vendors who had no clue the rain had come in had lots of wet product also and were not very happy. We finally got the booth back up and the sales began. I carded up an awesome storm inspired batt on the Mad-batter (must own one!!), and was beginning on the second one when wouldn't you know it, it started raining again. People came running from all over and threw product out on to the isle way to prevent the rain from soaking it. Most of it survived, but it was a tad bit chaotic.
After that, we gave up and the show ended so we worked on making the mass of stuff fit back into the trailer and van they came in. This started around 5pm, and we were there till around 9pm repacking it all, and squeezing it all back in. Then Roo and Nina headed south and I drove back home arriving back home around 1:30am.
So what did I learn from all of this? Always take a change of clothes if you go to a fiber event. Did it talk me out of going to another? NOPE. I even volunteered to help Roo in North Carolina at a 3 day event in October. She said I can sell some batts at her booth so I"m going to have to card like mad. All in all it was a crazy weekend but it was a fun one. I ended up with half of a prizewinning cormo fleece that is to die for! It looks like teeny tiny little french fries. I'm going to have to wash it very carefully. A lot of alpaca fleece, some bamboo, soysilk and lots of fun. I did learn a lot about running a booth at a big show & how to organize yourself. I learned that accepting credit cards is a must for those people that go over their "spending cash" limit. All in all, a great weekend and I would do it again!